The Team has between 20 and 30 active members as well as a number of probationers under training at any one time. They are all volunteers, available for call outs and also donating significant time to training, communications and fundraising.
Find out a bit more about some of the Team members here:
Neil joined the Team in 1985 and his day job is Roads Policing Officer with Cumbria Constabulary. This overlaps into his particular roles with the Team where he assists with the Team Land Rovers on the Equipment Committee and helps out with the driving skills and assessments. His favourite mountain region is the Lake District, especially Ullswater, and his favourite piece of kit is a “good and comfy pair of boots for all weathers.”
Michael Blakey joined Patterdale MRT in 1999. He became a Deputy Team Leader in 2009 and has been a dog handler since 2000 as well as being Deputy Chairman of the Patterdale MR Association since 2007. Mike is Managing Director of Indigo Children’s Services and Consultancy and also an education inspector. His favourite mountain regions are the Lakes and the Alps and his favourite piece of kit is currently his paraglider!
Glenn joined the Team as a probationer in September 2008 and became a full member in March 2010. He was previously a graphic display artist but has now developed in a completely different direction as he builds horse trial fences and courses. Glenn enjoys many mountain areas around the world but his first love is the Lake District. Asked about his favourite piece of kit, Glenn enjoys planning walks on his GPS and finds it a very useful piece of kit … as long as it doesn’t let him down!
Anna works outdoors too as a leader with the Field Studies Council. She became a full member of the Team in May 2007 and has the unofficial role of increasing the amount of smiling that goes on in the Team. Her favourite mountain is probably Helvellyn (there’s a surprise!) and her favourite bit of personal kit is something tasty to eat and drink at the top – “preferably a triangle of the millionaire’s shortbread from Patterdale Post Office.”
Team Leader, Martin, runs a renewable energy company that installs solar and wind energy systems around the UK. He joined the team in 1998 and lists an oxygen sack as his favourite piece of equipment – “oxygen can make a huge difference to a seriously injured casualty.” On favourite mountains, Martin has had great trips to the Alps but “the outstanding trips in recent years have been to Spitsbergen.”
Matt first went down to a Patterdale MRT practice in April 1993. He’s a festival organizer and also works in the renewable energy sector. On the Team, Matt has spent a couple of years in the leadership team and is one of the advanced first aiders and Deputy Training Officer; he’s also rigging for rescue qualified. Matt’s favourite mountain region is the Julian Alps in Slovenia: “It’s the final link in the Alps beyond the Dolomites, an undiscovered gem.” On kit, if Matt’s first in the vehicle on a rescue, he’ll grab the first aid kit.
Chris got involved with the Team in February 2008 and he works part-time at Eden Citizens Advice Bureau as well as being a member of the Employment Tribunals service over in the northeast. He loves Blencathra and any gritstone climbs and his favourite piece of kit is an unbreakable flask: “I dropped mine in winter conditions off Great End over a decade ago and it’s still going strong.”
John joined the Team in 1986 and works as a local GP in Penrith. As well as being a Patterdale Team Medical Officer, he is also a member of the Medical Commission of the International Commission for Alpine Rescue and Medical Officer for Mountain Rescue (England and Wales). John’s favourite mountain region is the Valais of Switzerland and nothing matches sesame seed snaps in his sack – “nothing seems quite as bad when you start munching them and the energy comes back into your legs.”
Dan joined the Team in 1998 and he has been a Deputy Team Leader since the AGM in 2010. His day job is based in the south of the region, where he’s the System Development Manager for the Morecambe Bay Health Informatics Service. He loves Knoydart and Ladhar Bheinn in the Highlands of Scotland and his favourite piece of kit is his GPS – “I’d be lost without it!”
Dave Freeborn MBE
Dave joined the Team in 1981 after moving to Cumbria from the South of England. He served as Team Leader for 17 years and has only recently retired from that post via a year as a Deputy Leader. Dave’s favourite Alpine mountain regions are the Italian Dolomites and the Valais canton of Switzerland. Dave considers his best bit of kit is a Goretex bivi bag, which he tries to purposely leave behind as often as possible so that he doesn’t need to bivi!
Jacquie joined the Team in 1982. Her main duty as base controller is to look after the control room radio communications during a rescue. She is an enthusiastic member of the fundraising committee. Jacquie is a director of a graphics company and in her spare time runs a Bed and breakfast business. She ‘saw the light’ many years ago and moved to the North from London. Jacquie feels very privileged to live in her favorite mountain area, the English Lake District. Her favorite piece of rescue equipment is the Landrover Ambulance, she has always had her own Land Rover and thinks they are the ultimate in off road capability.
Berni moved to the Lakes in 2004 and joined the team as a probationer in October 2010. Berni has worked as a freelance outdoor instructor in the area for the past eight years. Now he runs his own Ullswater based business with Anja (also in the team), helping people to overcome their fears using the outdoors. His favourite view is a cloud inversion over Ullswater from Helvellyn in winter. His favourite piece of equipment is his Walsh fell running shoes “I love running in the hills and they give me the confidence I need to move fast.”
Ray first got involved with the Team in January 1976 although his first experience of rescue involved abseiling off the Idwal slabs in North Wales to rescue a climber some time in the 1960s! He is allegedly retired (from work and from being a Deputy Leader on the Team) but he has part-time jobs in outdoor retail and as a First Aid trainer and he also represents the Lake District within Mountain Rescue (England and Wales). His favourite mountain region is the Bernese Oberland – “the first ski run of the day off the Lauberhorn with the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau in full view”. His favourite pieces of equipment are his ice axes – “when we get some winter to use them in” – and his camera.
Ian joined the Team is 1996 and was one of the Control Room staff until 2006. He has remained on the Team on a non-call-out basis since he passed his 75 years milestone. Ian is a licensed Hon Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Carlisle and a part-time assistant priest in the parish of Patterdale and the Good Shepherd Team Ministry.
Alastair is Licencee at the White Lion Inn in Patterdale and he first got involved with the Team in March 2008. He spends 80% of his time at work cooking and loves the Alps in particular. He doesn’t have a favourite piece of equipment but will carry anything up anything: “I just enjoy being out on the fells.”
Gillian Mininch joined the Team in 1997 and she is active on both the PR and the fundraising committees as well as being the Team’s Training Officer. Gillian is a recruitment manager for HF Holidays, recruiting the guides for their walking holidays from a base near Penrith and her favourite mountains are around the Angus Glens, her stomping ground while growing up. Her favourite piece of equipment for a day on the hills is a friend to carry the heavy stuff!
Jon became a full member of the Team early in 2010. His day job is in Ambleside, working for the youth development charity, the Brathay Trust. His choice for essential piece of kit would be merino wool base layers: “They’re comfortable, wick well and - unlike man-made fibres - aren’t inclined to see me sitting alone at a table if I’m still wearing my hill clothes in the pub at the end of the day!” Jon doesn’t have a favourite mountain area but anywhere that combines inspiring views and good company with either dry rock or fast single track (for mountain biking) is likely to be on his list.
Anja joined the Team as a probationer in October 2010. As her day job, Anja is a freelance outdoor instructor and fears coach with Berni (Wake Effect). Her favourite outdoor location is Heughscar Hill overlooking Ullswater - “as long as my dog Sky is running with me” - and her favourite piece of kit is a pair of speed cross fell running shoes.
Dave Watkinson joined Patterdale MRT in the early 1990s and, as a day job, he is Head of Outdoor Education at Patterdale Hall. As well as being the current DTL, Dave has also been Bosun and Training Officer.
Dave enjoys all mountain regions and his ambition is to find time to enjoy them on foot and ski. On favourite items of kit: “I am very fond of my ski poles and decent gloves and my favourite pack lunch item would be energy fluids.”
Theo joined the Team in 1992 and is one of the two Medical Officers (with John Ellerton). As well as being a GP based in Penrith, Theo is also a pre-hospital emergency care doctor and Air Ambulance doctor with the Great Northern Air Ambulance Service. His favourite mountain is local to Patterdale - Heughscar Hill above Roehead at Pooley Bridge - and his favourite piece of equipment is a finger probe pulse oximeter!